When most Americans think of labor unions, they think of union members campaigning for causes – such as restoring the middle class – or politicians. But unions are really a lot more, and a look at their charity efforts in the Kansas City area shows it.

That’s because unions really are people helping people, and never is that more evident than when unions and their members step forward to aid those in need.
Be it regular charities, frequent United Way campaigns or aid to communities when disasters hit, union members go above and beyond the call of duty to aid others.

Helping others is a heart-felt effort ingrained in union tradition. Our unions never ask for anything in return; they do it because it’s the right thing to do. They rarely seek out recognition or make their good deeds known.

It is important that people in and out of the labor movement understand the scope of the unselfish giving from unions and their union members to the communities in which they live. It’s time to let the wider public understand yet another hidden value unions bring to our communities, value that few ever see except those on the receiving end of unions’ good deeds.

A recent example was the Back to School Event hosted by Ryana Parks-Shaw, Kansas City Councilwoman 5th District.

Despite the rain, the event served over 1,500 families. Unions graciously gave their time and donations to help make the event a success.

The event included free back packs, computers and tablets, children’s masks, hand sanitizer, books, COVID Testing, free food from Harvesters and PPE for teachers.

Volunteers for Back to School Event

Volunteers for Back to School Event

Volunteers for Back to School Event

Back to School event organizer, Ryana Parks-Shaw, Kansas City Councilwoman 5th District.